As parents, we are as vital to our child’s education, as their teachers are at school. It isn’t only about helping with homework. It is about instilling self-confidence, motivation, and encouragement, from the very early stages of your child’s life all the way to adulthood. As a parent, you want the very best for your child, and much of their learning will come from you.
Here are a few ideas to get you started.
In our modern technological age, our children are not reading as much as they used too. Often tv and video games take up much of their attention. It is important that you distract them from this, and encourage the value of reading. Whether they bring a book home, or you visit the local library, sit down with your child and read with them. Discuss the story and ask your child their opinion. Don’t turn to the next page too quickly. Ask your child what they think happens next. Most children’s stories have a moral to them, so discuss the choices and consequences of the character’s actions. As well as learning to read, your child will learn important life lessons as well.
Experience the world
Children, by nature, are very inquisitive about the world around them. They are often asking why, what and how. Don’t dismiss their questions, no matter how persistent they are. Listen to what they are asking and take time before you answer. Converse with them and try and get them to think of the answer themselves.
There are many ways of exploring the world, so consider the Montessori pre-school philosophy of a hands-on experience and let your child look at new things, find new smells, and touch anything that isn’t dangerous or forbidden. Subjects such as history, science, and geography can be learned by visiting local parks, zoos, and museums.
Much of what a child learns, especially in their formative years, comes from their biggest role model. You! As you teach them the value of good manners and respect for others, you need to practice what you preach. It’s no good telling your child off for not being healthy and eating their peas when you chomping down on a burger.
Talk to the teacher
Teachers are always glad to know the parent is interested in their child’s education. Speak to your child’s teacher and find what they are studying at school, then continue the learning at home. This can be done using fun videos on the internet or practically, learning fractions with pieces of fruit, for example.
Allow for failure
Life is about trial and error and so it is with your child. When the make a mistake, don’t make a big issue out of it and criticize too much. Children often suffer from low self-esteem and anxiety issues when their parents push them too hard. There is a lot of pressure for children at school, so guide them gently, and let them know you love them, no matter what.